Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Mindy Adnot
This project investigates the relationships between Middle Eastern refugees’ English language skills and age, school, English training programs, and wages, among other factors, to understand how English affects refugees’ experiences in the U.S. and to identify what opportunities are most conducive to English language acquisition. I examined two datasets, one from the 2016 Annual Survey of Refugees and the other from the 2017 Yearbook of Immigration Statistics. The first dataset gathers information from refugees 16 years and older who have entered the U.S. between 2011 and 2015, and the second dataset provides an overview of the numbers of refugees who have entered the U.S. since 2008, as well as their countries of origin. I have found that almost twice as many female Middle Eastern refugees have entered the U.S. than males, but overall more male than female refugees speak English “well” or “very well.” On average, younger generations speak more English than older generations who have come to the U.S. Refugees who attended English language programs after coming to the U.S. developed English skills much more quickly than refugees who did not attend school or English programs. Finally, refugees who spoke more English upon entering the U.S. earn more on average than refugees who spoke less English upon arrival.